Young Adult Reading
I read A LOT. I read more than I used to mostly because I have a digital reading device which makes it easier (for me) to get and read books. Also with Goodreads I see what my friends are reading and recommending, which also encourages me to try new titles. Goodreads also makes recommendations for me (some good; some not so) based on what I have read.
However, with all that said, I do still like to have a physical book sometimes. I really like to have one or two on hand when I am heading to the shore...I always need to have a book in my beach bag and when I don't; it's a problem (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2021/11/addicted.html). While I LOVE my local library, when I don't want to take a library book to the beach or even on vacation, in case something happens. I am lucky that I volunteer at my local thrift shop and we have a LOT of books (Most of which we sell for under $1...talk about a bargain!)
There are several volunteers who are readers and we tend to pass around books. If I think something is good, I'll leave it up front with a note. Or if something comes in that I enjoyed, I'll make sure to let my friends know. One of the last times I was there, my friend handed me a book that several of the ladies had read and really enjoyed Wonder by R. J Palacio. The book is 10 years old and I had seen in around in book stores before; when I was with my son in the children's section. She acknowledged that it was a children's/young adult book, but said that it was really good. So I took it, even though I didn't know when I would get around to reading it.
With it being so cold recently, I've gotten into taking long hot baths at night. I don't take a glass of wine with me, but I do turn on the radio and try to enjoy a good book while I soak. (Magazines are too messy.) So I decided to give Wonder a try. As it is aimed at the middle school crowd, it was an easy read. As I neared the end the other day, the water was getting cool, but I didn't want to stop reading. I finished it and am reluctant to return it to the thrift shop. It was one of those books that I want to hold onto. It's a book that I'd like my son (who is now a junior in high school) to read. It was a very good story (told from multiple perspectives which made it even better) and offers some profound life lessons. Others have said that the ending is a little too perfect in the way things wrap up and they are not wrong. That said, this was an incredibly insightful book and it's made me want to read her other stories in the "Auggie Universe." Who cares what age range audience these stories are for?
Which made me realize that several novels that have made it to my "best of the year" have been targeted to young adults. Since 2017, at the end of the year I've been chronicling the best books that I've read during the year for the local news. Just about every year a book that has been targeted for young adults have made my list: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau, Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano, New Boy by Tracy Chevalier, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King are just a few that immediately come to mind. Each told an amazing story; each has stayed with me over the years.
I may be 55 years old (yes, it KILLS me to say that), but some of the best books I've read have been targeted to young adults. Some I read when I was a young adult. Nancy Drew is still my guiding light (particularly the 1930s version; as opposed to the updated tales which still don't sit completely right with me.) Women like Judy Blume, Louise Fitzhugh, Judie Angell, and Paula Danziger (to name but a few) shaped me; encouraged me. They may well be part of the reason I write this blog. (I'll admit that I started my very own notebook after reading Harriet the Spy). Many of their books still reside in a bookcase. (And I mourn the loss of many other of my favorites from authors like Lois Duncan, Norma Klein and Ellen Conford to a basement bookshelf that was taken over by water and mold.) Perhaps the best thing to do on this cold winter weekend is to pull one out and enjoy a good read.
A good story has no age range. Labels have no place in my personal library. If a book speaks to you; hold it in your heart AND share it with the world.